Speaking to Page Six, Bentley shared how Downey's candidness about his own past drug use — inspired him to get clean. From the mid-'90s to 2001, Downey, 57, was arrested numerous times for drug charges, resulting in nearly a year-long stretch at the California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison. Despite his previous cycle of rehabilitation and relapse, the Iron Man star has been drug-free since 2003, enjoying a career comeback in the process.
For Bentley, who started using drugs after his breakout role in 1999's American Beauty, Downey served as an example of what might be possible.
“I was in the deepest throes of my addiction and in the worst place and at death’s door, I guess, or at risk of it and I saw him be so bold and brave and open and it saved me,” the actor, who has been sober since 2009, told the outlet at Yellowstone's Season 5 premiere. "So I thought if I do that too, I can maybe pass that on to somebody else.”
Like Downey, Bentley's substance abuse led to brushes with the law. In 2008, the actor, now 44, was arrested for heroin possession. Though his subsequent court-ordered treatment was followed by a relapse, the Hunger Games star successfully got sober a year later.
“I met a guy who had been sober and didn’t know, that I was struggling,” he told Page Six. “He just talked about what a beautiful life he had now, and how he’s looking out the window at the trees, and I missed that. And I thought, I want that back. So that’s how that happened. So I just went to meetings and the 12-step meetings really helped me a lot. I already had belief in God, so that kind of helps — the higher power thing.”
Bentley, who plays Jamie Dutton on Yellowstone, says his newfound fame contributed to his drug use.
"I never had money before,” he noted. “So there was a lot of combination of things I wasn’t prepared for.
"I also knew as an actor that I wasn’t going to be really ready to do good roles until in my 30s and 40s. So I didn’t really want it to happen like that too early. I tried to go with it and hang with it, but I wasn’t ready.”